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ADIPEC Conference Review 2015

Posted by: Richard Madden

Subsurface Global attended the 2015 ADIPEC conference. My intention in this article is to provide a rundown of the Abu Dhabi conference, a summary of the opening address and answer a couple of topical questions related to the event.

My colleague, Peter Bottomley posted an article on what to expect from ADIPEC 2015 at the start of the month. The Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC) is a four-day event held in the Abu Dhabi exhibition and conference centre. This year the conference had 2050 exhibitors from all over the world. During the opening ceremony H.E. Suhail Al Mazrouei (UAE Minister of Energy) confirmed ADIPEC 2015 was the largest ever oil and gas exhibition exceeding the famous OTC in Houston. The conference was busy with plenty of oil and gas companies and individuals speaking, networking and discussing the challenges and long term opportunities. For those who have not visited ADIPEC it is a great event and one to put firmly in the calendar for 2016.

Summary of opening address – H.E. Suhail Al Mazrouei

In the opening address Suhail Al Mazrouei said the oil industry is undergoing one of the biggest transitions in its history, requiring governments and private companies to make huge adjustments. “We are gathered at a very interesting time for the oil industry, a time of hesitancy, of pain for some.” Mr. Al Mazrouei said. However, Mr. Al Mazrouei confirmed the UAE is still investing in the future of the oil industry and projects are continuing whilst looking for cost savings. He said he was confident in oil prices improving in 2016 but said he did not know how big. One of the most interesting comments from the address was that OPEC was not going to cut production on its own, “Everyone has a role”, he said. It was a really interesting opening to the week with much anticipation if big regional deals would be announced.

We spent the majority of the week meeting with oil company representatives discussing the future plans and what is in store for 2016. In my opinion there is a positive view on the long term view of the oil business here in the UAE. It is clear ADNOC have a domestic gas demand that is keeping many of the oil companies operating in Abu Dhabi busy.

What new deals were confirmed?

There was lots of talk going into the week about what deals would be signed. Would Shell and ADNOC agree on a way forward for the Bab sour gas development? Would BP complete on the bid for the equity stake of the onshore ADCO (Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Production) concessions? Would Occidental be awarded further gas development projects following the successful Shah development?

It seems that many of the deals are yet to be firmly agreed. There is lots of speculation but as I write it seems the big deals are still playing out. One interesting agreement that may lead to unconventional projects was the technical collaboration between ADNOC and TAQA. Link to the press release

What to expect from Abu Dhabi’s upstream oil and gas sector in 2016? Subsurface Global view

My view following ADIPEC is that Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas business is strong. It was great to see such a turn out during the event and some really interesting technical sessions on the creative and innovative technologies being used to reduce costs and create efficiencies. It is however apparent there is a large number of ‘experienced’ individuals in the industry that are being let go by the major IOC’s. This will put pressure on the industry in the future as those that have watched and learnt how to adapt to the oil cycle are no longer there. If I were managing a large NOC during these times, I would be hiring those experts that are retiring and putting them to work with a focus on developing long term capability of my local workforce.

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